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Dating on the internet is a lot like applying for a job, and your dating profile is a lot like a CV. Find out how to write better online profiles with these tips, and improve your success.

Your online dating profile is about you, and you owe it to your potential dating partners and yourself, to be honest. If you state that you have a lot to offer someone, they need to know that what you listed about yourself is the truth.

Dating sites offer a lot of help when it comes to writing a profile, so take some time and review the help sections.

Avoid Online Dating Cliches

There are lots and lots of online dating cliches, here are my top 4 to avoid in your profile.

"I'm new to this, so here goes" and the ever popular "I can't believe I'm doing this!" As the first line of an online dating profile is, for me at least, so off-putting. It screams that you're ashamed of dating online and that there is still a stigma about online dating. It's not 1990 anymore! Online dating is acceptable and the social norm now.

"I love laughing" and "Fun loving", who doesn't like having fun and laughing? These statements are so generic and meaningless, they don't tell anyone about you so best leave them out, especially if there is a character limit on your profile text.

"I like going out and staying in", so you basically like living?

"Looking for my partner in crime", so very, very overused. It's generic, uninteresting and very cliche. Just avoid.

Don't put yourself down, avoid negatives

Nobody likes a negative person, so you should make sure that your profile casts you in the best possible light. It doesn't matter if you're negatively thinking or have undesirable traits, if you feel you need to talk about them, they can be framed in a positive way.

Negativity also takes the form of talking about bad experiences, past dates, the ex.

Negative Example: "I can't believe I'm doing this! I have friends who use Match and have had some terrible dates but thought I'd give this a try."

Positive Spin: "I've heard online dating is a roller coaster, and a great way to meet people so that's why I want to meet you."

Be positive.

Write Honestly

Above all it is vitally important that your profile is an honest one. That goes for your profile text and your photos. Your profile must tell the reader about you and what you like. There is little point talking about subjects or interests that do not interest you, or worse lying about them. It will show from the way you write your profile. Even worse, when you actually meet someone you'll appear to be not the person in the profile and that will set alarm bells ringing. If you lie about one thing, what else are you lying about?

Have Recent Photos

My pet bugbear is bad photos. Maybe it's because I'm a photographer, maybe because I've had quite a few disappointments, but your photo should be of you, recent, and at least one photo should be full body. When I say recent, ideally no more than 6 months old.

I've been emailing people who look really good in the photos, good profile, but when it comes to the meet, it's clear that the photos were taken 5 years ago, if not more. The photo shows an attractive petite person, in reality over the years they've gone up more than two dress sizes. Is that shallow of me? I don't think so. If they lied about what they look like, what else are they lying about. I really don't care what dress size someone is, as long as they are honest about it.

Make sure you have a full body photo as well, if all you show is your face then it looks like you have something to hide.

While we're on the subject of photos, make sure you have a variety of photos. If all your photos are of you holding a wine bottle in a bar then the impression is that you are an alcoholic who does nothing but drink in bars. I'm sure that's not true, so cover the variety of hobbies and interests you have.

Get friends to help if having difficulty

If you are having trouble writing about yourself, why not ask a friend to write about you? Friends may be more comfortable highlighting your strengths and cool experiences than you, and they see you in a different light which you are biased against.

Tell a story

Open with a short and funny story to show your taste in humour, or that you are an interesting person. It doesn't have to be long, just enough for the reader to be enticed in and read more of your profile. If you have climbed Mount Everest, by all means, let everyone know.

Be funny

Another trick to great online dating profiles is to pretend it's a job you're trying to get, not a date since women tend to find it easier to really sell themselves in a work setting. Or maybe write a profile in a comic style of an eBay or car sales advert.

Write more than Fill in later, but not an essay

There is nothing worse than seeing a profile photo of someone really attractive, clicking on their profile and all they can be bothered to write is "Fill in later." It just smacks that the person cannot be bothered to write a profile, and therefore cannot be bothered dating as they are not really that interested. You don't have to write an essay, just describe yourself and who you're looking for in a few paragraphs.

The fewer "I's" the better.

Using "I", "me" and "my" excessively can be off-putting, for example, if every sentence starts with "I like this" and "I like that", and "my hobbies include" then you may come across narcissistic.

Use proper spelling and grammar

It's not difficult to use a spell checker and grammar checker. Most, if not all browsers have this built in and highlight incorrect spelling, and you can use programs such as Microsoft Word or LibreOffice to check grammar. Not using these features is just lazy and gives the impression that you're not taking things seriously.

Do not use txt spk. evr. You may be limited to 500 characters or so, but there is no excuse for text speak.

Avoid these

There are some important red flags to avoid - angry rants about ex's, negativity about your own life, too much disclosure about money or personal finances.

A Few Last Tips

It's normal to suffer from the "What do I put here?" problem, blank boxes make everyone nervous. If you're not sure what to talk about, make sure you cover these basics:

  1. Your personality
  2. Your hobbies
  3. Your career
  4. Your ambitions
  5. What you're looking for in a partner

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